Modjeska Theatre

1134 Historic W. Mitchell Street,
Milwaukee, WI 53204

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Showing 1 - 25 of 42 comments

mgriffin189 on July 15, 2014 at 7:35 am

The Modjeska is scheduled to reopen this fall! I am excited and hope that this is the first step towards a full renovation.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on August 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm

A Golden Voiced Barton Theater Pipe Organ, 3/10, manual/rank, keyboards/sets of pipes, was shipped from the Barton organ factory in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1924. In the 1950’s the organ was removed and the pipe organ chambers were used to install the air conditioning units. Know what happened to the organ?

Torn_Curtain on October 5, 2012 at 5:56 am

A few photos from September 2012 are here: link

There is still a notice in the window on how to contribute to its restoration. Hopefully it will be preserved.

MiltonSmith on June 2, 2012 at 2:46 am

Sounds like this theater’s days are numbered, sadly.

Trolleyguy on March 4, 2012 at 3:13 am

The theater is closed. Some friends of mine had been doing volunteer work last year on the electrical systems but finally gave up because of lack of financial support.

MiltonSmith on March 4, 2012 at 12:54 am

I believe this theater is closed now. The link to the official website seems to come up with a bunch of characters that look like Chinese letters. Anyone know for sure?

TLSLOEWS on June 12, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Strange photo posted May 5th by Chuck,

CSWalczak on May 27, 2010 at 5:55 pm

I posted someting along those lines on May 3 – see above.

DavidZornig on May 27, 2010 at 3:54 pm

There was a recent (early May) story in the Milwaukee Sentinel that the Modjeska is now closed. The youth group that had been operating it at a deficit had to close it’s doors. Maybe someone can post the link.

CSWalczak on May 3, 2010 at 9:30 pm

This theater has hit a bump in the road financially as the youth theater that was its principal tenant has folded. Community leaders are rallying to preserve the theater’s future; story here: View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 26, 2010 at 8:15 pm

I think our MODJESKA in Augusta looks a bit better.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 2, 2010 at 11:37 pm

The Modjeska Theatre in Augusta is currently closed.It had been turned into a nightspot and it is used for private parties. It is on CT if anyone wants to read about it. Its History is much like theone here.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 24, 2009 at 7:38 pm

I have added history of the MODJESKA in Augusta.For you info.

Broan on October 6, 2007 at 10:30 pm

Recent photos of this theatre are HERE

DavidHurlbutt on September 18, 2007 at 7:11 pm

Milwaukee’s Common Council’s Development Committee today recommended approval of a 3.1 million dollar proposal for improving some key landmarks, including the Modjeska Theater, on Mitchell Street.

Pieman on September 2, 2007 at 5:53 pm

I grew up on 12th and Scott, born in 1954.I remember going to see a 2 or 3 movie matinee on Sunday afternoons for a quarter. Kids were seated on the floor in front of the first row and up the aisles. Apparently there were no capacity rules. Also being bombarded
with candy from the balcony. We would exit into the alley.The daylight was blinding. Schlitz brewery, where my father worked, also had there Christmas party there. We were all given a huge mesh stocking, packed with toys and candy after the show.Very fond, distant memories!!

LouisRugani on August 15, 2007 at 7:05 pm

The city of Milwaukee is looking to restore the MODJESKA THEATRE (Rapp & Rapp) and West Mitchell Street itself to its historic grandeur with a proposed $3.1 million tax incremental financing district. “It’s like a step forward into the past; Mitchell Street has a history of being a thriving commercial corridor,” said Joel Brennan, assistant executive director and secretary of Milwaukee’s redevelopment authority. The TIF district (PDF) would stretch from South Fifth to South 16th streets and cover all properties one block north and south of Mitchell Street. It would also include a commercial stretch of West Forest Home Avenue between South 13th and South 15th streets. The TIF money would be split in half into two separate funds â€" one for commercial projects and a second for infrastructure. A development fund totaling $1.5 million would give grants or loans to retail projects on Mitchell Street to help pay for work like restoring historic stone building facades. “Those are certainly the types of funds to help make projects pop in the corridor that otherwise might be financially unfeasible,” Brennan said. Brennan and the TIF plan pointed to three projects as likely recipients of that money â€"redeveloping the Goldmann’s department store, restoring the Modjeska Theater and fixing up the Walgreens building at 1101 W. Mitchell. Any funding for those projects would require separate redevelopment authority and Common Council approval after the TIF district is created.

The Modjeska Theater’s owners â€" Mitchell Street Development Opportunities Corp. and nonprofit Modjeska Theater Co. â€" are facing renovation costs ranging from $7.5 million to $8.9 million. The improvements would include restoring the building’s exterior masonry, new theater seating and sound systems, and upgrading its heating, cooling, plumbing, fire protection and electrical systems. The owners plan to continue to use the restored building for theater productions but also hope to attract meetings and conventions.

To create a TIF district, the city borrows money to pay for projects and then repays its debt using any increases in property taxes within the district. The city estimated the Mitchell Street TIF district would repay its $3.1 million in debt by 2025.

Piercedtrailerparkdiva on December 14, 2006 at 8:43 pm

I’m 29 years old and I grew up in milwaukee and I saw my first “scary” movie on the big screen at the modjeska which was Children Of The Corn

JimRankin on October 16, 2006 at 7:36 am

I just got an inquiry concerning the Modjeska from a woman working with the Mitchell Street Development Opportunities Corp, in conjunction with the “Modjesks Theater Company” regarding raising funds to purchase the theater as well as listing it on the National Register of Historic Places. It is nice to see interest in this lesser Rapp & Rapp design.

JimRankin on October 2, 2006 at 4:34 pm

Neither here nor list any other MODJESKA, but quite possibly does; contact them by E-mail through their Executive Director’s address there.

Piercedtrailerparkdiva on October 2, 2006 at 3:10 pm

I grew up in milwaukee and I used to see movies here with my aunt and other family members when I was a kid in the 80’s my grandparents and used to go to the Modgeska on “dates” and The whole family would choose the modjeska if they/we wanted to see a movie it was our “family” theater I was wondering if anyone can post any 80’s modjeska pictures because that would be how I remember it.

JimRankin on August 11, 2006 at 10:27 am

Just to make it clear, the photo linked to above by “Ken MC” shows the original Modjeska somewhat on the left; it is not the same building mentioned by “exModjeskaTech” in the comment above.

kencmcintyre on August 10, 2006 at 10:37 pm

I don’t think this photo has been posted yet:

erskin on September 22, 2005 at 3:46 pm

I spent the late 90’s and early oo’s working as a Technical Director/ Stage Hand at the Modjeska and took it upon my self to learn what I could about it’s history and construstion. I have been all over (and thru) the building including doing repairs inside of the walls of the fasade. If anyone has any questions; if I know the answer I’ll give it to you or put you intouch with the current building owner Stewart Johnson (he happens to be in my mind one of the greatest set designers ever!)
I see that above it says that the chain is unknown the current building was built for Saxx theatres however it later was sold to United Artist who had their regional offices in the building.